NFL 2022: Sony Michel signs with Los Angeles Chargers

Sony Michel is headed back to California – this time to join the Los Angeles Chargers, the team announced Wednesday.

The veteran running back returns to L.A. after winning a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams in 2021. He signed with the Miami Dolphins in May but was a surprise cut on Tuesday. Now, he's poised to be the main backup behind Austin Ekeler. There are few young running backs already on the roster, but Michel has more experience than Joshua Kelley and rookie Isaiah Spiller. The team cut fourth-string running back Larry Rountree III after signing Michel.

Michel, the 31st overall pick in 2018, had a solid season with the Rams as the main backup to Darrell Henderson for most of 2021 after being traded from the New England Patriots before the season. He ended up starting seven games – including the final six of the regular season – and finished with 845 yards and four touchdowns on 208 carries. Michel rushed 26 times for 80 yards in the Rams' postseason run after Cam Akers returned from an offseason Achilles injury.

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After signing with the Dolphins, Michel, 27, couldn't stand out among the plethora of running backs vying for touches in Mike McDaniel's new offense. Miami chose the trio of Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Myles Gaskin instead.

Now, though, Michel has a prime chance to seize a role the Chargers have missed all offseason. He has a skillset different from the rest of the running backs as a bruiser out of the backfield and is a goal-line specialist with 11 touchdowns inside the 3-yard line since 2018.

Sony Michel is Austin Ekeler's new backup running back. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Sony Michel is Austin Ekeler's new backup running back. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) (Kevin Sabitus via Getty Images)